Parasites found in tap water as hundreds of people feared ill

Brixham in Devon is the hotspot for cryptosporidium

Brixham in Devon is a hotspot for the cryptosporidium outbreak (Picture: Getty)

Over 20 people have been confirmed sick with a diarrhea parasite after they drank contaminated tap water. 

It is feared that hundreds more could be ill after drinking the unsafe water, with symptoms including profuse diarrhea, stomach pains, vomiting, and fever.  

Residents on the south coast of Devon were warned they should boil water and leave it to cool before using it to make sure the bug is killed if present. 

This includes water for teeth brushing and food preparation as well as drinking, but water can be used for showering and flushing toilets as usual. 

So far, 22 cases of the illness have been confirmed, but more are anticipated to follow. 

South West Water said tests showed ‘small traces’ of cryptosporidium had been found, with the issue affecting people in Alston and Brixham on the south coast of Devon. 

It follows a statement yesterday when they said tests had come back clear and told people not to worry: ‘We would like to reassure customers that the water supply is fine to continue to use as normal.’ 

But now they said that customers in affected areas should boil their water, and said they are ‘working with public health partners to urgently investigate the source’.

Customers in Alston and the Hillhead area of Brixham are advised to boil their drinking water before consuming following new test results for cryptosporidium. We are issuing this as a precaution following small traces of the organism identified overnight and this morning.

— South West Water (@SouthWestWater) May 15, 2024

They added: ‘We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will continue to keep customers and businesses updated.’

The number of suspected cases has not been confirmed.

However, community Facebook page Brixham Fish Town has been inundated with posts and comments from residents saying they have come down with symptoms. Reports of people becoming poorly in Paignton have also started to emerge.

Tanya Matthews, who lives in Ocean View, claims every home in her street has come down with the same symptoms. 

She said: ‘I started having stomach cramps and explosive diarrhoea nine days ago and it has been the same every day since.

‘South West Water asked if I had been in the sea or a river but I have not. I also think the water tastes funny and it has been leaving a horrid taste in my mouth.’

Tanya put a post on Brixham Fish Town Facebook to see how many other people had been affected. It is had more than 1,000 comments with many reporting they are also unwell.

Kayley Lewis, who also lives in Ocean Drive, said: ’My eldest son Jacob was the first one of us to be poorly. He ended up in hospital overnight with severe dehydration on May 5.

‘Both my boys have missed a lot of school due to it too.’

People were warned not to drink water directly from the tap in affected areas (Picture: Getty)

A resident who lives in Hillhead, Brixham told how she has been bed-bound for over a week and …read more

Source:: Metro


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